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Associate Diploma in Equine Care & Management

Study Horses

Are horses your passion? Expand your skills and knowledge to make your passion your career. Learn about horse behaviour, nutrition, handling, health, management, performance, and business.

You will begin your studies at REACH-Huron where you will be fully immersed in both hands-on and theoretical equine learning. Your second year of studies will continue at Ridgetown Campus for the opportunity to study with students from other programs and get involved in campus life.

Whether you are new to horses or want to fine-tune your skills, you will learn how to work with performance horses of varying temperaments, and the ins and outs of managing an “A” level facility.

Program Benefits

2-year program

In only two years, you’ll be ready for your career with applied and practical experiences in lectures and labs.

2 locations

Your first year will be at REACH-Huron and your second year will be at Ridgetown Campus.

Learn from the best

Learn and experience different areas of the industry through experienced instructors, industry field trips (including an elective trip to England) and guest speakers.

Small class sizes

In this niche program, you and your classmates will form a close co-hort and benefit from excellent teacher-student ratios. 

Theory + practice

This program combines in-depth equine theory with applied horse handling and business courses.

Horses from all disciplines

The teaching horses you will work with and learn from are from a variety of sectors and disciplines.

Co-op Option

Co-operative education is an opportunity for you to extend your learning beyond the classroom. As a co-op student, you will gain work experience, build professional networks, and develop interpersonal skills essential to pursuing a career with horses. Plus, you’ll get paid while earning your diploma.

In the co-op program, you will participate in one (1) co-op work term (during the summer) in addition to four academic semesters.

Co-op students receive an exceptional level of support in securing a placement. You will take a co-op preparatory course, a Co-op Coordinator will assist you during the employment process, and you will have access to senior student mentors. Learn more about the Co-op program.


teaching barn stalls.


horses in the teaching herd.


international travel opportunities.

Degree Pathways

Graduates of the Associate Diploma in Equine Care and Management program may be eligible to enter the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management in Equine Management program if they received a minimum cumulative average of 75% or higher in the associate diploma program. Successful applicants will receive 7.5 transfer credits. In many cases, this will eliminate 1 to 2 years of the degree completion time. Learn more about the U of G Degree Pathway.

Required Courses

Year One

DAGR*1090 Students will develop written language skills and become proficient at using word processing software. Practical skills include writing business letters and other business correspondence, resumes, formal and informal reports, instructional writing, critical thinking and critical writing. Students will become familiarized with campus software systems including campus e-mail, library resources, and classroom support software. Instruction will be provided in computer file management and using the internet as a research tool.
DEQN*1010 This course will explore business and employment opportunities in the horse industry. Various sectors and disciplines will be studied to reveal the economic and employment impact on the horse industry provincially, nationally and internationally. An overall theme in this course will be the use of horses as sport and leisure animals versus horses used as agricultural commodities. A study of equine sport and regulatory governing bodies will also be studied in detail.
DEQN*1020 This course encompasses the gross anatomy and physiology of the horse. The course includes an introduction to anatomical terminology, the integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, urinary system, cardio-vascular system, the respiratory system, the digestive system and the endocrine system.
DEQN*1050 This course is an introduction to equine health and disease, the care of sick animals and other stable management practices related to the health care of horses.
DEQN*1150 This course introduces students to the elements and importance of day to day stable facility management. Daily animal care including feeding, watering, grooming, tack maintenance and turn out is taught and practiced. this course emphasizes safe handling of horses, occupational health and safety, daily routines and record keeping. Students are responsible for twice daily feeding and stall care.
DEQN*1200 This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic skills and procedures used in the management of an equine facility. Topics included within this course are the building, renovating and management of horse facilities including site planning and interior design. Special consideration is given to environmental control, waste management and environmental stewardship.
DAGR*2090 Students will develop effective oral communication and presentation skills using software. Oral communication skills, preparing formal and informal reports with and without technological support. Practical presentation skills include the use of voice, eye contact, time appropriateness and response to questions. Students will also understand the importance of formalized meetings and be instructed in the use of spreadsheet software as a data management tool. Software available on personal electronic devices used to access business and production information will be overviewed.
DEQN*2030 Upon completion of this course the student will be able to evaluate a horse's conformation, relate form to function and develop an understanding of the common lameness and blemishes found in horses and their relationship to athletic performance.
DEQN*2040 This course introduces students to the topics of digestion, feed nutrients, feed stuffs and feeding practices for horses.
DEQN*2100 Students will learn to define exercise and understand the importance of conditioning a horse both physically and mentally. Students will also practice developing and monitoring a fitness program and illustrate methods to monitor fitness levels during training.
DEQN*2130 Anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion is covered, along with sexual maturation, breeding techniques and management, fertilization. gestation, parturition and foal care. Management of stallions. mares and foals in regards to housing and handling is discussed along with genetic selection and inheritance.
DEQN*2150 This course builds on skills taught in Practical Horse Care I. Course focuses on building knowledge and skills in three functional areas: day to day facility operations, horse handling and daily care of horses. This course emphasizes further skill development in handling, grooming, bandaging, daily routine and hoof care. Students are responsible for twice daily feeding and stall care.

Year Two

DAGR*1070 This course introduces business management principles, functions, and processes. Students will learn about the business environment, decision-making, and the role of the organizational functions, with a particular focus on accounting principles, accounting statements, and the use of financial information.
DENM*3150 This course examines the impact and role of farming. Site assessment of environmental risk associated with specific farm operations will be covered by the utilization of best management practices for the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources.
DEQN*3050 Students will learn to identify and prevent common nutrition based disorders in a variety of horse production groups. Horses are used in this course to ensure authenticity and relevancy to industry issues.
DEQN*3070 Students will learn the principles of forage establishment and management for the purpose of providing good quality, affordable pasture and hay for horses. Field trips provide students the opportunity to assess the conditions of local pastures and hay fields and discuss appropriate management practices.
DEQN*3150 This course builds on skills taught in Practical Horse Care I and II. This course emphasizes the management of equine industry staff, scheduling and efficient stable facility routine with consideration being given to equine welfare. Students are responsible for twice-daily feeding and stall care.
DEQN*3210 This course covers the complementary therapies available to a horse care-giver or equine manager in the therapeutic, maintenance or convalescent care of horses. The course includes an introduction to a variety of commonly used therapies. The efficacies and processes are discussed. Case studies and live demonstrations will be included in the lab portion of the course.
DAGR*2020 Student will learn important concepts and techniques required to analyze financial performance and guide business decision making. A broad range of financial topics will be covered, including financial statements and cash flow analysis, financial forecasting and planning, internal control, budgeting, taxation, and the time value of money.
DAGR*3080 This course introduces fundamental marketing concepts involved in the distribution of goods and services from the producer to the consumer. Students will learn about the marketplace, functions of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place), as well as personal selling.
DAGR*4600 Students will learn the theoretical and practical skills of management and interacting with people. Topics will include recruiting, supervising, motivation, training employees, effective listening, dealing with difficult people, group dynamics and leadership skills.
DEQN*4120 This course covers athletic conditioning requirements and guidelines for riders at each stage of athletic development. Students will gain an understanding of human anatomy and physiology and how they relate to equestrian sports and injury prevention. Equestrian discipline-specific considerations are also discussed.
DEQN*4320 In this course students will undertake a comprehensive study to develop a business plan for a new venture or develop a long term management plan for an existing equine operation. Drawing upon knowledge and skills gained from previous courses, students will complete and present a formal business report.
DEQN*4500 This course provides students with an opportunity to develop hands-on work experience and exposure to the equine industry. The focus of this externship is to further develop professional work habits. The four-week externship, with a minimum of 140-hours, begins immediately following semester 4. A passing grade is required to complete the diploma.


  • The Associate Diploma in Equine Care & Management requires the completion of 24 courses (12.00 credits) total
  • Successful completion of a 4-week Industry Work Placement, at the end of semester 4, is also required
  • For a list of all courses and the curriculum layout, please refer to the Associate Diploma Calendar


  • Assistant Horse Trainer
  • Equine Events Manager
  • Equine Facility Manager/Owner
  • Equine Marketing & Sales Representative
  • Equine Office Administrator
  • Equine Rehabilitation Technician
  • Exercise Rider
  • Feed or Tack Retail Operator
  • International Show Groom
  • Show/Breeding/Race Barn Manager

There is currently 1 career opportunity posted on the job posting page


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or Equivalent
  • A minimum cumulative average of 65% in 6 Grade 11 or Grade 12 U, C, M, or O level courses (excludes Co-op credits)
  • Includes a minimum of Grade 11C Math and Grade 12C English
  • Or apply under Mature Student Status: Applicants don't have a high school diploma/equivalent but are 19 years of age or older and out of high school for a minimum of 1 year; pre-admission testing may be required

Acceptable English Proficiency Tests

International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic)

  • Competence Level: Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

  • Competence Level: Minimum overall band score of 70.
  • Please note that the University of Guelph will be accepting the CAEL Online Test for Fall 2021 admission only and will re-evaluate the opportunity for future use.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Competence Level: Internet-based: minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score less than 21.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

  • Competence Level: Minimum overall score of 60 and no score less than 60 for any individual component.

Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP)

  • Competence Level: Successful completion of the University of Guelph, Open Learning Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate Program (Levels 9 and 10).

Cambridge English: C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency

  • Competence Level: Minimum overall score of 176 with no band less than 169.

Duolingo English Test*

  • Competence Level: Minimum overall score of 110.

The University of Guelph institution code is 0892.


Ontario Resident Year 1 Approximate Costs In CAD
Tuition $3,393.40
Compulsory Fees $1,449.24
Co-op Fees (if applicable) $770.00
Textbooks $587.00
Total $5,429.64
Total with Co-op Fee $6,199.64
Out of Province Year 1 Approximate In CAD
Tuition $3,702.78
Compulsory Fees $2,205.24
Co-op Fees (if applicable) $770.00
Textbooks $587.00
Total $5,739.02
Total with Co-op Fee $6,509.02
International Year 1 Approximates Costs In CAD
Tuition $14,441.30
Compulsory Fees $2,119.86
Co-op Fees (if applicable) $785.00
Textbooks $587.00
Total $17,233.54
Total with Co-op Fee $18,003.54

Estimates based on 2024-2025 fee schedule.



  • Spacious Teaching Barn
  • Wash Stalls
  • Heated Tack Room
  • Indoor Arena
  • Outdoor Arena
  • REACH Huron-Operated Boarding Stalls

Ridgetown Campus

  • Computer Lab
  • Lecture Halls
  • Classrooms
  • Library and Resource Centre
  • Study Lounge
  • Student Residence
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium and Fitness Centre
  • Plenty of green space

Are you ready to Improve Life?